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Strong recruiting reaps golden rewards for band

Sept. 20, 1996

Jennifer Paschal/The LariatThe Golden Wave Marching Band practices in the afternoon at the intramural fields. The band, which also includes the color guard, is the feature of halftime shows at football games.

By Alisha Robins

Lariat Reporter

The Baylor community thrives on tradition, and the Baylor University Golden Wave Band is an essential tool to keeping the school spirit alive. This year the GWB has reached its peak with its largest enrollment ever.

'When I came to Baylor membership of the GWB was at 171,' Luckhardt said. 'The goal when I arrived here was to have 270 people in the marching band, which is reasonable for this institution. We wanted to see how far we could go with the Big 12 and now the GWB has 290 members.'

The increase in membership is a result of the active recruitment process, Luckhardt said.

'Recruiting is a year long process that involves a lot of time and research of talented students, as young as freshmen in high school,' Luckhardt said.

When he first joined the Baylor faculty in March 1993, the size of the GWB was strongly emphasized.

Today the philosophy has changed, emphasizing quality not quantity, which makes GWB more positive, Luckhardt said.

'He has to be an incredible recruiter because of the numbers that have turned out,' said William Mitchell, a Carrollton

sophomore and section leader of the tubas. 'Luckhardt is an incredible motivator, he uses that in his recruiting.'

The band has been a traditional part of Baylor football games and provides entertainment for fans at pep rallies. Selective members entertain at basketball and volleyball games.

The band is looking forward to new challenges with movement into the Big 12.

'The growth of the GWB is important because more is going to be expected of Baylor,' said Mitchell.

'The athletic department is competing on a higher level, so the GWB will be in the spotlight, but there's no doubt we can hang.'

The band got its name in the 1930s when an arts critic attended one of the band's performances and noticed the vivid colors of the uniforms.

'The Baylor Band is going across Texas on a golden wave of music,' he said, giving the marching band the name Baylor University Golden Wave Band.

With the arrival of Donald Moore in 1948, the GWB began to grow and started accompanying the football team in several bowl appearances. Over the years the GWB has grown to include the Color Guard, which performs with flags and rifles and the twirlers, named the Golden Girls.

'This is my second year to be in Color Guard at Baylor,' said Jennifer Woodson, a Plano sophomore and member of the Color Guard. 'It adds visual effects to the music, because we interpret the music and have a lot of fun with it.'

This year Luckhardt has created the Golden Wave Band Club, a scholarship fund which parallels the concept of the Bear Foundation.

Anyone can donate at various levels, membership is attained by donating money and perks are given at the different levels of donation, Luckhardt said.

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